MPF is supporting a number of educational initiatives in the Westernport region with increasing collaboration amongst them.
In an area where some of the statistics are not encouraging it is fantastic to see the emergence of a dynamic, aspirational group of educators who are changing the narrative and the reality for children, young people and families.
At Westernport Secondary former Principal now Dept of Education Senior Education Improvement Leader, Michael Devine instigated a number of initiatives which are being ramped up by new Principal, Christopher Quinn, and his staff.
The Mobile STEM Lab provides state of the art robotics equipment for a five week period at each of the eight feeder primary schools involved in the program. Students practice the coding they learn during the five week immersion at the Secondary School when back in their own classrooms. They gain exposure to new technologies earlier and gain 21st C skills while softening the transition from primary to secondary. Having suffered a downward trend in enrolments of last decade, WSC is seeing this reversed and rates of digital literacy increasing.
Whatever it Takes is a project in 2020 investigating the poor rates of transition for students enrolling in year 7 at Western Port where data shows that just 3 out of every 10 are at the required academic and developmental levels required for secondary school. This work draws on activities of the last three years between Western Port Secondary, Tyabb Railway Station Primary and Crib Point Primary that has gradually been strengthening collaboration between the schools. It will include analysis of the educational, health and welfare systems around students and their families in a bid to find out why, when and how students fall through the cracks and face a trajectory that is likely to include early exit from school and poor opportunities in employment.
MPF is grateful for the support of the RE Ross Trust, the Bertalli Family Foundation and Mellett Family Foundation in enabling this project in 2020.
Elevate aims to address high rates of student disengagement at the Secondary College by investigating the potential to incorporate elements of the methodology employed by the Oakwood School. This DET school works with students who have disengaged from mainstream and has had significant success in the last six years in re-engaging students and supporting them through to positive post school pathways.
MPF is grateful to the Hugh Williamson Foundation for supporting this pilot program.